[TEMP CHECK] ENS Steward Vesting Proposal

In the next voting window Metagov plans to put the budget up but with a separate vote for the ENS and USDC budget. It will be, in essence, a ratification of the previous comp guideline. This proposal should be only about either to apply vesting in this one term.

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voters should be allowed to decide whether to include tokens at all, there were quite a few voices in that discussion that highlighted 25000usd per month is way too much of compensation

I don’t want this conversation to get circular, but if you decide to omit that question in the poll, I will be forced to put additional social vote to cover for that point

Indeed, this discourse has become circular.

It is not accurate to denominate voting power as United States Dollars (USD), as stated above. It is denominated as ENS, per the Term 5 compensation guidelines. Voting power is a form of non-monetary compensation which grants recipients the option to:

  1. Directly exercise or delegate voting power.
  2. Exchange voting power for other assets, such as ETH, USDC, and yes, even greenbacks.

There is an explicit difference between interpreting governance distribution events as a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) event and understanding them for what they primarily are: the DAO’s mechanism to decentralize the ENS Protocol. This discussion should focus on deriving the procedures through which we can further reinforce this mechanism, rather than interpreting these events purely in terms of monetary implications.

Yes you are correct, there is a difference in interpretation for functionality and use as a means as voting weight.

At the same time, the DAO does not distribute on a CGT event. That differentiation occurs and can only be decided by the member holding the tokens. This is strictly a personal decision made by the holder and without any influence from the DAO or market maker influence or perceived exta-particular monetary benefit from such influence. There is a stark distinction in the shift from one to the other.
The standard should be known

Discernible Asset State Guidance

Asset State

    1. Taxable Financial Instrument
      (depending on country or residence)
      Includes native FIAT currency in a Nation that has authority over it’s financial instruments
      Member or holder Responsibility, does not have direct connection to the DAO
    1. Governance Utility Token ( does not represent taxable item while in holding for Governance purposes. i.e, voting weight or influence)
      Includes Digital Tokens that reside in the EVM obtained by distribution of the originating power without invoking a predisposed price before or obtained by person(s) after a distribution event by means of exchange for market trade value.
      Officially a DAO Governace Tool and free from Taxable Financial Instrument Authorities


    1. Member uses fiat or other currencies to trade for governance tokens.
      Taxable Financial Instrument → ( asset fulcrum, i.e, trade, swap or convert to | Change of Asset State Use ) → Governance Utility Token ( asset functionality use, i.e, purpose of voting or influence of policy within governance. Does not facilitate a transaction that would result in the monetary gain or loss of a single persons or other dependent.)

Reciprocal Process


    1. Member exchanges their Governace tokens for FIAT Instrument
      Governance Utility Token ( asset functionality use, i.e, purpose of voting or influence of policy within governance. Does not facilitate a transaction that would result in the monetary gain or loss of a single persons or other dependent.) → ( asset fulcrum, i.e, trade, swap or convert to | Change of Asset State Use )

You can turn it upside down left to right, if it quacks walks and looks like a duck - then it’s a duck. Having state of the art education in the field of economics and years of experience slicing and dicing various financial instruments in my mind it’s just another monetary incentive.

To trully consider it for “voting purposes” Steward should be dissalowed to spend it.

I think @AvsA got a point when he is saying that if some third party like DAO is controlling the tokens for voting purposes delegating them to Stewards, then voting agent is on “the hook”. That’s a valid argument. I don’t know how to solve it.

But liquid or even vested ENS tokens is just money, whichever way you put it - its 25kUSD / month compensation. Which is a huge imbalance in community.

Okay, so in your view, the DAO should maintain ownership over voting rights and solely delegate those rights to stewards, developers, contributors, etc. Is that right?

I am concerned that if voting power is merely delegated instead of granted outright, delegated tokens could simply be revoked through a social proposal, a concern I had shared with @Griff. This is reinforced by the fact that the current distribution of voting power is too damn high.

On the one hand, I understand the consternation — what would stop recipients from ‘cashing out’ and abandoning their responsibilities as stewards? On the other hand, what would prevent incumbent delegates from revoking delegated tokens if the new voting bloc ‘votes the wrong way’, effectively cutting them off at the knees?

It appears that the debate has evinced a classic Prisoner’s Dilemma situation, where each party, acting in their own perceived best interest, risks leading to an overall worse outcome for both parties (i.e., governance moratoriums).

Personally, I believe vesting is a good compromise, and it could be stipulated that the DAO retains the right to stop vesting should recipients act in bad faith. Besides, we can’t expect stewards to participate in governance forever. The ENS Protocol will outlast each and every one of us, so the least that can be done is to pay it forward and assure that the ENS DAO takes care of high-value, high-impact contributors, just like those same contributors take care of the DAO.

I agree with this.

Also, can we abstract from the back and forth base solely on opinions? What we lacked on past terms vote was information, for delegates and the rest of the folks.

So, does anyone have a model, reference or guidance of any other ecosystem/DAO that have implemented in the past anything like this and the correlation in governance and DAO health? Otherwise, I would simplify it with what @AvsA propose, because no matter what good intent or how many years in x field anyone has, if it doesn’t come up with data and potential outcomes then it’s just repetitive text.

Personal opinions without any point of reference gives too much ground for bias, and it was my understanding that temperature check are for be informed and gather feedback, but we keep falling into the same of us commenting over and over.

I’d like the opinions of the DAO delegates who voted no, like @brantlymillegan, @superphiz etc, because they can offer valuable insights.

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Great discussion as usual! +1 to all of @AvsA’s posts and comments above - will integrate this with the current Temp Check and put it up on the forum as a social proposal over the weekend. Giving the proposal enough time for further discussion before it goes up for a vote during the next voting cycle in April, where the vote is:

  • “Yes. Apply vesting to the current term”
  • “No. Do not apply vesting to the current term in line with the 2023 guidance”
  • “Abstain”

Most other discussion/feedback is similar back and forth to what was discussed in the previous steward comp post, but as always any/all discussion is good!


There are a couple of other considerations:

(1) Job mobility (2) Risk / Accountability

(1) Job mobility - I benchmarked those numbers vs some other professions. For example brain surgeon would be earning similar annual salary. Should something to go wrong in a given hospital that hypothetical brain surgeon would just leave his place of employment and most likely find another hospital to work for fairly quickly. This is not the case for ENS DAO Stewards. This tells me that this aspect of compensation is broken.

(2) Risk / Accountability - typically high salary drag high risk with it. Brain surgeon or senior accountant within a firm might be found liable for certain actions and even criminal charges can be brought against. That is the price you pay for high salary - accountability. There is literary zero accountability for Stewards. I had to make a fuss on the forum just to get some basic info bylaws provider. It’s become norm to ignore questions at all. If anything bad happens Stewards will just walk away with zero consequences.

These are just a few more angles from which this compensation scheme is broken.

You continue to evaluate this based on the current price of the ENS token. Compensation was not set when the token had its current price, it was set when it was much lower. If you are treating ENS as a financial asset, you need to acknowledge that it comes with risk; it could as easily have diminished in price as increased. That is the way non-monetary rewards work - participants accept both downside and upside risks.


then why are we exposing our Steward to any kind of risk at all, let’s just denominate all compensation in USDT - that way there will be no ambiguity. Everyone would understand how much money exactly they are getting and if they choose to do so, then they can convert their salary to ENS token for voting purposes.

Most people - myself included - agree that stewards should have some kind of stake and say in the continued success of ENS.

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I’m also one of those people, but in practice what happens is that Stewards just sell ENS the moment they get them. In fact here I explain that there is no point in holding ENS tokens from financial analysis perspective, I didn’t have time to do everyone but Stewards did sell the moment they recieved them (mostly).

In theory these kind of instruments should incentivise management to improve the protocol, right now in practice it’s just money.

Typically you don’t just hand out bonuses - you tie them to KPIs. Let’s assign some KPI to every Steward and hand out bonuses only provided they reached KPI.

If they didn’t reach KPI, then they made no impact, and they don’t deserve to have a say in the future of protocol.

@SpikeWatanabe.eth please make the forum a better place by not making a circular discussion. This has been already hashed out in many threads.

The current thread is about James proposal and comments should focus specific feedback on how to improve the wording of this proposal.


@AvsA I felt some of comments would complement the discussion

on the actual wording I only have one question - why does it lack option to reject distribution of ENS token altogether? Throughout all recent discussions there were quite a few people who disagreed with distribution of ENS tokens at all. I think their voice should also be heard.

Next time Metagov will propose the new budget version one of the changes will be to approve it in its entirely, just the USDC/ETH part, just the ENS part, or reject it completely.


If people sell then they sell. We can’t micro manage what people decide to do with their assets.

This will collectively be decided if they so choose to run for stewardship.

We are adults. Some people might value the money more than others. Some people might sell and leverage other investments to attain more voting power. Who knows. I have learned that–as difficult as it may be with an open ledger on chain, we should really refrain from judging personal decisions of others. This is most especially applicable if we don’t know what they are up to or may be going through. But again, selling but never buying back would absolutely reflect a questionable sense of alignment.

that’s IMO and that’s that on that.

I think the language of these proposed choices help clarify the very narrow issue of this vote being limited to amending last term’s guidance applicable to this term.

However, unless I missed it, I’d recommend your proposal include verbiage that closes the gap that lead to this situation in the first place. Namely, there should be language in the proposal expressly stating whether the terms of this proposal are binding on the DAO or subject to further amendments based on future social votes.

Moreover, the record seems to support the intent of the original guidance passed last term was to: 1) be binding offers to the candidates running for the Steward positions; and 2) avoid this term’s Stewards finding themselves in this situation where there is an active vote regarding the terms of their own compensation packages and/or governance distributions.

In either case, whether this proposal is intended to be binding or non-binding subject to further amendments by social votes, it would be a shame to not improve the process and see these same contentious debates pop up in the forum before distribution of governance to the Stewards under the terms of this proposal in the future. Further, the addition of this type of language, which is standard boilerplate in legal agreements, really should become standard practice for all DAO proposals moving forward or at least for proposals involving offers/payments to 3rd parties for purposes of clarity and minimizing legal risks and potential liabilities such as breach of contract claims where (US) courts will generally construe/interpret ambiguous terms against the party that drafted them (the DAO in this instance) and in favor of the other party (i.e. Contra Proferentem Rule).

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Proposal has moved from TEMP CHECK to [5.7][Social] ENS Steward Vesting Proposal